The plain Truths of the Gospel ... A Discourse Deliver’d at Hanover, December 1st. 1756. When the Reverend Mr. Samuel Baldwin was Ordained Pastor of the Church there.
A gift from a Boston Patriot; a rare 1757 colonial Boston imprint
Rare colonial Boston sermon given on the occasion of the installation of the Reverend Samuel Baldwin (1731-1784) as pastor of the First Congregational church in Hanover, Massachusetts following the death of Reverend Benjamin Bass.
The printed sermon bears an inscription saying that this copy was gifted by Baldwin to a Lydia Studley, perhaps a parishioner. She is possibly Lydia Studley (1748–1828) of Hanover, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. The provenance is in manuscript at the foot of page 27: “Lydia Studley Her Book. Given to her by the Reverend Mr. Samuel Baldwin.”
This ordination sermon was delivered by Rev. William Cook who was born in Hadley, Massachusetts in 1696. He graduated from Harvard College and was subsequently ordained to the ministry in 1723. He served as pastor of the East Church in Sudbury (the town where the ordinand was born) until his death in 1760.¹
Cook preached on St. Paul’s farewell sermon to the Church at Ephesus as recounted in Acts 20:20—“I kept back nothing that was profitable to you”—words quite suitable for an ordinand beginning his ministry.
Rev. Samuel Baldwin (1731–1784), a fervent patriot during the American Revolution, was born in Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. In 1752, he graduated from Harvard College; in 1756, he both married Hannah Cushing (b.1738) and was ordained to the ministry at Hanover. “He was…a Whig of much zeal. It is said of him that he used to carry his arms to church; and on one occasion, while the British were lying at Boston and infesting the coast, he thanked the Lord ‘that there was hemp sufficient to hang all the Tories.’”²
John Stetson Barry’s A Historical Sketch of the Town of Hanover (Boston, 1853) writes of Rev. Samuel Baldwin: “Mr. Baldwin early espoused the cause of America in the struggle with Great Britain, and, throughout the continuance of the war of the Revolution, took a deep and anxious interest in his country’s success. He officiated as a Chaplain in the Army, and gave eloquent exhortations to his own flocks at home and to the minute men of the town…” (pp65–66) Barry further notes that Baldwin is listed on the Staff Officers Roll in 1776 as Chaplain upon the Bristol Alarm. (p121)
Description: The plain Truths of the Gospel ... A Discourse Deliver’d at Hanover, December 1st. 1756. When the Reverend Mr. Samuel Baldwin was Ordained Pastor of the Church there.
Boston; New-England, Printed by Green & Russell at their Office in Queen-street, M,DCC,LVII. . First Edition. 27, [1 (blank)]pp. Small 8vo., without half-title. Pamphlet. Approx. 7¼ x 5 inches, in contemporary, homemade, two-piece coarse paper cover with annotations; hand-stitched. Ownership inscriptions: on upper homemade cover, “Lydia Studley Her Book”, and on verso of final leaf, “Lydia Studley.” Pamphlet irregularly trimmed at all edges and with rounded corners; foxing and minor soiling; very good.
ESTC W28888. Evans 7879. Sabin 16294. Thomas, History of Printing in America, p534. In America, OCLC returns 7 physical copies only. Notes. 1. Hudson, The History of Sudbury, Massachusetts. 1638-1889. (Sudbury, 1889), p291. 2. Baldwin, The Baldwin Genealogy, from 1500 to 1881 (Cleveland, 1881), p624.